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Parametric doors and windows repost

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This is also posted in the new features thread.  Apologies if multiple posts are annoying. Just wondering how others handle doors and windows.  Any focused tutorials to modify door and window sizes?

 

It would be great to have a parametric door and window creation tool where libraries of common door and window types could be modified.  This would include: frame types that retain the ability to automatically extend to the opposite wall surface, libraries of interior and exterior casing profiles, sill profiles, sash frame dimensions, vertical and horizontal muntins counts, offsets, etc - all elements with dimension inputs.  Best if diagrams could clearly illustrate which part of the window/door component is being prompted for dimensional input. Perhaps someone has already produced an extension or script for this but I cannot find.  Any thoughts welcome!

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I currently resize doors by moving a selection of points or segments while in wire-frame display. It works with minimal effort for most situations, but some more complicated designs can pose a challenge.

 

You make a good suggestion which would be useful.

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In my view, going with 'parametric' doors and windows sounds great, in theory.  But it doesn't work out that way.  Ultimately it takes the whole software in the wrong direction.  To maintain full editing of a window or door, someone has to write software that completely encompasses all options of a window or door.  I mean, what is a window, exactly?  And a door, exactly?  And what do they sit in, exactly?  That line of thinking is endless...it is hard, takes years to develop, and there are always limitations with whatever is left.  Even if you can create great parametric elements, managing those new objects adds workflow complexity.  And that's the route of all BIM programs.

 

A direct modeling workflow works better when combined with good editing, instancing, etc.  A step up from modeling everything from scratch is the 'scripting' approach, my personal favorite.  As in, the modeling workflow stays 'direct modeling', objects are not 'intelligent.'  But the scripts save time in modeling complex specific types of objects like doors and windows.  The best example I can think of this are the Vali Architects plugins for Sketchup (https://www.valiarchitects.com/sketchup_scripts). These provide most of the benefits of BIM without the need to master a program or always invent workarounds.  Amazing stuff, you can create almost any type of door/window/roof/site/fence/railing in seconds.  In addition to the preset styles, there are dialogs where you can make your own and it has customization parameters for everything. Although it looks it, this is not parametric modeling, it is scripting...if you want to edit a window for example you simply delete it and recreate it with different parameters.  The objects are output like any other objects and are not actually intelligent, but direct modeled objects.  This is the best because if you want some slight modification to a certain object, you just go right in and change it like any other model.  

Edited by pfschuyler

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I agree.  formZ is not a BIM program and it will likely never be a BIM program because that would take a complete restructure of the coding... so BIM-like requests seem (for a lack of better words, meaning no offense) frivolous. 

 

I think if formZ was a niche program among architects and interior designers then spending time and resources on better roofing, stairs, and doors and windows tools makes sense.  But it's not.  Many other users such as exhibit designers, industrial designers, cabinet designers, urban planners, etc. would not use these features, so the ADS resources are better off utilized for more pressing matters that the majority of the users would benefit like more reliable importers/exporters, more rendering options, a more streamlined UI, or just killing off small, yet annoying bugs (undos, anyone?).  

 

 

In my view, going with 'parametric' doors and windows sounds great, in theory.  But it doesn't work out that way.  Ultimately it takes the whole software in the wrong direction.  To maintain full editing of a window or door, someone has to write software that completely encompasses all options of a window or door.  I mean, what is a window, exactly?  And a door, exactly?  And what do they sit in, exactly?  That line of thinking is endless...it is hard, takes years to develop, and there are always limitations with whatever is left.  Even if you can create great parametric elements, managing those new objects adds workflow complexity.  And that's the route of all BIM programs.

 

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For architectural competitions Form Z is perfect app to build models. Stair tool and other tools also are great because they are so simple concept tools. Actually they don't need further development.

 

What we need is parametric hole/void/substraction tool. That would solve also window and door tool request. Non destructive boolean operation is very hot feature when competition is getting harder in 3D market. And that is very basic feature in theory - without libraries, check boxes, dialog windows, sliders and other stuff.

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